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Poult Sci. 2007 Feb;86(2):309-17.

Evaluation of the efficacy of a probiotic containing Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus, and Pediococcus strains in promoting broiler performance and modulating cecal microflora composition and metabolic activities.

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Department of Animal Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855, Greece.


The aim of this work was to investigate the efficacy of a new multibacterial species probiotic in broiler nutrition. The probiotic contained 2 Lactobacillus strains, 1 Bifidobacterium strain, 1 Enterococcus strain, and 1 Pediococcus strain. Four hundred 1-d-old male Cobb broilers were allocated in 4 experimental treatments for 6 wk. The experimental treatments received a corn-soybean basal diet and were as follows: "control," with no other additions; "probiotic in feed and water," (PFW) with probiotic administered at 1 g/kg of feed for the whole period and in water on scheduled intervals during the first 4 wk; "probiotic in feed," (PF) with probiotic in feed as in PFW; and "antibiotic," (AB) with addition of avilamycin at 2.5 mg/kg of feed. Salinomycin Na was used as a coccidiostat. Each treatment had 5 replicates of 20 broilers. Treatment effects on parameters of broiler performance and cecal microbial ecology were determined. Broiler BW, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were determined on a weekly and overall basis. Cecal microflora composition, concentration of volatile fatty acids, and activities of 5 bacterial glycolytic enzymes (alpha-galactosidase, beta-galactosidase, alpha-glucosidase, beta-glucosidase, and beta-glucuronidase) were determined at the end of the experiment. Overall, treatment PFW displayed a growth-promoting effect that did not differ from AB. Overall, feed conversion ratio in treatment AB was significantly better (P < or = 0.01) than the control treatment, whereas treatments PFW and PF were intermediate and not different from AB. Concentrations of bacteria belonging to Bifidobacterium spp., Lactobacillus spp., and gram-positive cocci were significantly (P < or = 0.05) higher in treatments PFW and PF compared with the control and AB treatments. Treatments PFW and PF had significantly higher specific activities of alpha-galactosidase and beta-galactosidase compared with the control and AB treatments. In conclusion, probiotic treatment PFW displayed a growth-promoting effect that was comparable to avilamycin treatment. In addition, treatments PFW and PF modulated the composition and, to an extent, the activities of the cecal microflora, resulting in a significant probiotic effect.

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